|DC Mayor Adrian Fenty: Linda Davidson/Washington Post|
(Story reported by Nikita Stewart and Paul Schwartzman for the Washington Post)
One afternoon in late June, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's political advisers invited their boss to a downtown conference room to report an unsettling development: Focus groups commissioned by the campaign were saying that Fenty's leadership style was offensive and that he was oblivious to constituents' concerns.
If the mayor had any chance of winning them over, the prospective voters told the campaign, he needed to apologize for his actions.
Tom Lindenfeld, the mayor's chief political strategist, proposed a cure, a one-page letter to be delivered to thousands of voters across the District, a letter in which Fenty would acknowledge mistakes and express remorse. He would promise to change.
"What is this?" the mayor said, reading the letter and tossing it away.
"The things you don't do now will be much harder for voters to ignore later," Lindenfeld told him.
The mayor slammed his hand on the table.
"I'm proud of my record," Fenty shot back, according to Lindenfeld and two others present at the meeting. The mayor stood and walked out.
(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)